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Latest Exploration of Saturn Stories

2011-04-20 12:00:00

PASADENA, Calif., April 20, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NASA is releasing the first images and sounds of an electrical connection between Saturn and one of its moons. The data collected by the agency's Cassini spacecraft enable scientists to improve their understanding of the complex web of interaction between the planet and its numerous moons. The results of the data analysis are published in the journals Nature and Geophysical Research Letters. (Logo:...

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2011-02-01 14:32:32

NASA announced Tuesday that the Cassini spacecraft passed by and snapped images of several of Saturn's moons. The space agency said the Cassini spacecraft passed within 37,282 miles of Enceladus and 17,398 miles of Helene.  The spacecraft also shot an image of Mimas in front of Saturn's rings. NASA said that one of Cassini's images is looking at the famous jets erupting from the south polar terrain of Enceladus. The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the...

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2010-12-20 18:00:00

NASA's Cassini spacecraft will be making its close flyby of the northern hemisphere of Saturn's moon Enceladus today, Monday, Dec. 20. The closest approach will take place at 5:08 PM PST (8:08 EST) on Dec. 20, or 1:08 AM UTC on Dec. 21. The spacecraft will zip by at an altitude of about 48 kilometers (30 miles) above the icy moon's surface. Cassini's fields and particles instruments will get priority during this flyby. They will be trying to characterize the particles that may form a tenuous...

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2010-11-10 11:40:00

Like a cosmic lightbulb on a dimmer switch, Saturn emitted gradually less energy each year from 2005 to 2009, according to observations by NASA's Cassini spacecraft. But unlike an ordinary bulb, Saturn's southern hemisphere consistently emitted more energy than its northern one. On top of that, energy levels changed with the seasons and differed from the last time a spacecraft visited Saturn in the early 1980s. These never-before-seen trends came from a detailed analysis of long-term data...

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2010-11-05 10:45:00

Engineers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., are working to understand what caused NASA's Cassini spacecraft to put itself into "safe mode," a precautionary standby mode. Cassini entered safe mode around 4 p.m. PDT (7 p.m. EDT) on Tuesday, Nov. 2. Since going into safe mode, the spacecraft has performed as expected, suspending the flow of science data and sending back only data about engineering and spacecraft health. Cassini is programmed to put itself into safe mode...

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2010-10-07 07:35:00

Saturn's icy moon Enceladus should not be one of the most promising places in our solar system to look for extraterrestrial life. Instead, it should have frozen solid billions of years ago. Located in the frigid outer solar system, it's too far from the sun to have oceans of liquid water -- a necessary ingredient for known forms of life -- on its surface. Some worlds, like Mars or Jupiter's moon Europa, give hints that they might harbor liquid water beneath their surfaces. Mars is about 4,200...

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2010-09-28 10:17:02

Turning a midsummer night's dream into reality, NASA's Cassini spacecraft began its new mission extension -- the Cassini Solstice Mission -- on Monday. The mission extension will take Cassini a few months past Saturn's northern summer solstice (or midsummer) through September 2017. It will enable scientists to study seasonal changes and other long-term weather changes on Saturn and its moons. Cassini had arrived just after Saturn's northern winter solstice in 2004, and the extension continues...

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2010-09-24 06:19:39

NASA's Cassini spacecraft will swing high over Saturn's moon Titan on Friday, Sept. 24, taking a long, sustained look at the hazy moon. At closest approach, Cassini will fly within 8,175 kilometers (5,080 miles) above the hazy moon's surface. This flyby is the first in a series of high-altitude Titan flybys for Cassini over the next year and a half. Cassini's composite infrared spectrometer instrument will be probing Titan's stratosphere to learn more about its vertical structure as the...

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2010-09-22 14:15:00

How do scientists decide what images the Cassini spacecraft should take of Saturn and its moons? Students have the opportunity to learn the scientific process when they enter Cassini's Scientist for a Day Essay Contest. The contest is for students in grades 5 through 12. The deadline for entries is Wed., Oct. 27, 2010, at noon Pacific Time. Students will be presented with three scientifically interesting locations around Saturn or its moons for the Cassini spacecraft to capture. They will...

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2010-08-17 06:31:28

NASA's Cassini spacecraft has returned Saturnian moon images from its flyby late last week, revealing light and dark contrasts worthy of chiaroscuro painters like Caravaggio. The flyby on August 13 targeted the geyser moon Enceladus, but also brought Cassini close to two other moons--Tethys and Dione. The raw images include the best ones to date of Penelope crater on the icy moon Tethys . Penelope crater, which is 150 kilometers (90 miles) wide, is the second-largest crater on Tethys. Cassini...


Word of the Day
caparison
  • A cloth or covering, more or less ornamented, laid over the saddle or furniture of a horse, especially of a sumpter-horse or horse of state.
  • Clothing, especially sumptuous clothing; equipment; outfit.
  • To cover with a caparison, as a horse.
  • To dress sumptuously; adorn with rich dress.
This word ultimately comes from the Medieval Latin 'cappa,' cloak.
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